Cook County sheriff’s deputy suing over anti-gay harassment at work
SUN-TIMES MEDIA September 25, 2012 9:40AM
Updated: October 27, 2012 6:12AM
A Cook County Sheriff’s deputy is suing the department, claiming supervisors did nothing to stop co-workers who continue to harass him because he is gay.
David Nardi claims some officers and a supervising sergeant have continually harassed him for being gay since he started working at the sheriff’s office in 1999, according to the suit.
He alleges some co-workers would make lewd noises when he walked into the room or cat-call him using anti-gay references — sometimes in front of jail inmates “in order to put his safety and well being at risk,” according to the suit.
Other officers have refused to respond to his calls for assistance on the job because he is gay, the suit claims.
One sergeant allegedly “continually tormented” Nardi using a sign reading “I am gay,” the suit claims. And during an October 2010 roll call, other deputies began singing about “having a gay old time” when he walked into the room.
Nardi filed a sexual harassment complaint at work, but a supervisor – who participated in the alleged harassment – refused to forward it to the Office of Professional Responsibility for investigation, the suit alleges.
After he filed a discrimination charge with the Illinois Department of Human Rights, he was unfairly disciplined and transferred to inferior assignments, Nardi claims. The department has since found substantial evidence to support his allegations, the suit said.
A spokes,am for the sheriff’s office had no immediate comment on the suit night.
Monday’s two-count lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, claims sexual harassment and retaliation.